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Niagara Falls - Maid of the Mist

Updated on October 14, 2012

An exciting experience!

I RECENTLY had occasion to visit Niagara Falls and to see it as I had never seen it before - very close up .. on the Maid of the Mist. I can assure you that it is an exciting experience. Please come along with me for this exciting experience of a lifetime. I promise you, you won't regret it.

My family and I were visiting the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, called such because of its shape. I had been there several times since my first visit in 1958, but there was one thing that I had never done - I had never taken a boat ride up the river, right into the face of the falls. Yet, people have been doing this since the Maid of the Mist boat excursions were inaugurated in 1848. Millions have taken this exciting journey.

Now it was my turn.

Maid Of The Mist - An exciting ride

Maid Of The Mist
Maid Of The Mist

I took this photo of others on the Maid of the Mist ... before my ride! It looked scarey down there!

Even though I knew that millions of people had taken this ride before with no mishaps, my knees felt weak and my throat went dry while boarding. What if, yes, what if this time we got too close to the falls and didn't escape?

Boats leave regularly from both sides of the river, the American side as well as the Canadian side. The queues are constant. We could see people of every age group, even little children, donning the lightweight black plastic raincoats that are a necessary protection against the spray. The boat, Maid of the Mist VII, can carry up to 582 passengers. It weighs 145 tons [132 metric tonnes] and is 80 feet [24 m] long and 30 feet [9 m] wide at the beam.

Maid of the Mist - Video - Canadian Horseshoe Falls

Hear the roar of the waterfall!

No turning back now

We lined up with the crowd, and as soon as the Maid of the Mist VII had disgorged its group of wet and bedraggled tourists, we streamed on. I could see that we were in for an exciting journey.

In the distance, less than a mile away, the waters thundered over the lip of the falls, dropping a distance of 170 feet [52 m] into the 180-foot- [55 m] deep basin below.

Our boat headed out into the river where we plowed through the swirling waters to the foot of the falls, which has a total drop of 176 feet [54 m]. The most exciting part lay just ahead of us.

Tension heightened as we got nearer and nearer to the crashing waters. It soon became impossible to take photos because of the wind and the violent spray that filled the air. The pilot seemed to take forever as he edged the boat closer and closer to the point of impact where every minute more than six million cubic feet [168,000 cu m] of water breaks over the crest line and crashes down just in front of the boat!

The noise was tremendous. You could hardly hear yourself shout. My heart pounded and I started giggling in nervousness. This was indeed an experience of a lifetime!

Our turn for getting drenched - it left me giggling

Getting drenched
Getting drenched

Here are some passengers getting drenched.

After what seemed like an eternity, the pilot at last slowly backed our Maid away from the danger line and swung us downstream. I breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it. But really, there never was any doubt. The company that operates these boats has an accident-free record. The general manager of the steamboat company assured us that each boat is equipped with life jackets and rafts sufficient for the maximum capacity of passengers. No room for any Titanic mistakes here!

Maid of the Mist - Is an exciting ride.

Have you riden on the Maid of the Mist?

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Items I recommend - Make your experience comfortable

You can do without any or all of the following items but, you will be able to enjoy Niagara Falls to the fullest if you have binoculars to view the scenes, a camera to capture the fun, and the proper clothing to keep comfortable.

Rand McNally 2012 Road Atlas United States, Canada, Mexico (Rand McNally Road Atlas: United States/Canada/Mexico)
Rand McNally 2012 Road Atlas United States, Canada, Mexico (Rand McNally Road Atlas: United States/Canada/Mexico)

The best guide that you can get to help you find your way with the least difficulties.

 
Bushnell H2O 10x42 Porro Prism Waterproof/Fogproof Binocular
Bushnell H2O 10x42 Porro Prism Waterproof/Fogproof Binocular

There is so much to see. You won't miss a thing if you take these waterproof binoculars with you to Niagara.

 
Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD (OLD MODEL)
Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD (OLD MODEL)

With all of that water everywhere take along a waterproof camera to get the best shots and not have your camera ruined.

 
D&Y Women's Rain Hat,Black,One Size
D&Y Women's Rain Hat,Black,One Size

The raincoat you will be provided with when you ride on the Maid of th Mist has a hood but it doesn't keep your hair dry. I recommend that you take a rain hat. This one would be good.

 
Columbia Little Girls'  Benton Springs Fleece Hoodie
Columbia Little Girls' Benton Springs Fleece Hoodie

If you go on Maid of the Mist you will be provided a raincoat with a hood but I recommend that you take something warm and snuggley for under it.

 

Niagara Falls - Horseshoe - Daytime scenes

One of the most photogenic places in the world - Niagara Falls.

The Falls Are Retreating! - Erosion

Niagara Falls - erosion
Niagara Falls - erosion

Yes, erosion has taken its toll on the falls. It is estimated that over the last 12,000 years, the falls at Niagara have retreated about seven miles [11 km], to their present location. At one time the rate of erosion was about three feet [1 m] per year. Now it is down to about one foot [36 cm] every ten years. What is the reason for this erosion?

The water passes over a hard top layer of dolomite limestone that lies on layers of soft sandstone and shale. These lower layers get eroded, and then the limestone rocks collapse and fall to the basin below.

Water Not Wasted - Hydroelectricity

Rainbow over Niagara Falls
Rainbow over Niagara Falls

The vast quantity of water that comes down the short Niagara River (35 miles [56 km]) is from four of the five Great Lakes. It flows northward from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. During this short journey, it is exploited to produce hydroelectricity, which is shared by Canada and the United States. It is said to be one of the world's greatest sources of hydroelectric power. The Canadian and U.S. power plants have, between them, a capacity of 4,200,000 kilowatts. The water for the turbines is taken from the Niagara before the river reaches the falls.

Niagara Falls for the whole family and .. - easy on the budget

From the shopping and culinary experience to camping and fun for the children of all ages, there is something for everyone at Niagara Falls.

The Movie - Niagara

"NIAGARA" is an hour-and-a-half of vintage Hollywood movie entertainment, with one of the biggest stars of the era in her prime (Miss Monroe of course). And when Marilyn is combined with those stunning Falls of Niagara, this film becomes all the more inviting and impressive.

Niagara
Niagara

NIAGARA is truly a tense and haunting film. Could have been made by the master himself (Hitchcock).

An enthusiastically-recommended movie

 

Niagara - A powerful falls.

Although Marilyn Munroe is not featured in this segment of the movie, it shows the force of the falls at the top.

Honeymoons and the Night Lights - Very romantic!

Honeymoon Haven and awesome family vacation
Honeymoon Haven and awesome family vacation

Niagara Falls is a favorite spot for honeymoon couples. This was especially true after the 1953 film, "Niagara." At night the falls are illuminated by colored spotlights, which give another dimension to the beauty and majesty of this unique spot on our planet. Certainly a visit to Canada and the United States is incomplete without a trip to this wonder of the world.

Niagara Falls - In the evening

Millions are going to Niagara Falls - It's a beautiful, exciting vacation spot.

Have you been to Niagara Falls?

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A Winter Wonder Land - Unbelievably beautiful!

Niagara Falls - Winter Wonderland
Niagara Falls - Winter Wonderland

Niagara Falls is not just a vacation spot during the summer. I invite you to visit there in the winter. What you will see will impress you for the rest of your life. I know that it did me.

Heavenly Fireworks

Niagara Falls Fireworks
Niagara Falls Fireworks

Niagara Falls is a beautiful place on this planet .. summer, winter, spring or fall, daytime or in the evening.

If you are a little adventuresome, don't forget to take a boat ride!

You won't regret it or forget it.

Please leave a comment.

Niagara Falls Guest Book

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    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Wonderful pictures! I've been there many time, as we live in Western NY about 2 hours from the Falls. Thanks:)

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      beliza 3 years ago

      I love Niagara Falls but have never made it on the Maid of the Mist, it's on my list.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      I've been to both sides of the falls several times and I have never wanted to take that ride. Your photo is pretty spectacular. The night lights are so beautiful. The last time we were there we didn't get to see them, but the memory of past visits held us.

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

      I think the winter would be the best time

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      I've never been to Niagara Falls but you've made it come alive for me here. Thanks!

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 5 years ago

      What a great lens! We visited Niagara falls about 10 years ago. We love to stay in the Canadian side, its more beautiful. I hope we can visit again someday.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      As always, a very enjoyable and well written Lens on a really great New York (depending on which side your on) destination. One of my favorite Grateful Dead concerts took place in Niagara Falls back in 1984; they actually had about 4 couples getting married during the intermission (some in full wedding regalia too).

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SayGuddaycom: You won't be sorry! Thank you for your visit. I'll be to visit you soon.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Because of this lens I added Niagara Falls to my bucketlist

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @wheresthekarma: How exciting! I'd love to go again! Next time must be in the winter though. I want to see the ice sculptures made by the falls.

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 5 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      It looks so beautiful, especially in the winter!

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 5 years ago

      I was just there a couple months ago, it is really beautiful!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @rob-hemphill: Niagara is a beautiful area. There are many things to do and see there. The boat ride was the highlight of the trip though. You'll have to make a bucket list. Mine is getting pretty long. Thank you for visiting.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 5 years ago from Ireland

      Wow! I would love to visit Niagara one day. You sure had a great experience, lovely read.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @hsschulte: Thank you for the compliment. Glad you stopped by - please come again!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you my friend, that would be lovely! I also thank you for your support!

      I hope you visit again!

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 5 years ago

      I've been there a few times. I've never taken a boat ride or seen it frozen though. That winter picture is particularly gorgeous.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this lens so much.. my dear friend. If I've more much time to build my new Niagara falls posters or art, I'd like to let you know that this gorgeous work of you will feature on there absolutely. Tweeted to all my fans. Much love. Have wonderful times.. always.. dear beautiful lady :D

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Lindrus: I agree. I hope that some day you will be able to go on Maid of the Mist. Thank you for the visit .. I'll be seeing you soon.

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      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Niagara falls are so impressive and beautiful! Would have loved to see it from the maiden of the mist!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: I agree. The falls are amazing and there is so much to see and do there. Every family should take a trip to Niagara Falls when they can.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens! I've visited Niagara Falls (the Canadian side), and rode Maid of the Mist, too. It is exciting and pretty scary, too. We also toured the caves beneath the falls--all three things were awesome. You're not really prepared for the sheer magnitude of the falls, even when you've heard about them--you're still amazed . Fantastic lens!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Oh, you are right, but so much fun. Everyone who gets a chance should go for the ride.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have visited Niagara Falls too and also been on the Maid of the Mist - it is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Looks exciting, and scary at the same time.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Pretty exciting .. I was scared silly until I actually got on the boat, my knees were knocking and teeth chattering. Once there I enjoyed watching others get soaked (me too.) It was a hoot! I'd love to go back and do it again.

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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @julieannbrady: There are a lot of beautiful homes at Niagra. They use a lot of brick in their buildings. I love brick. Thanks for visiting, Julie. I'll be popping by often.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @PromptWriter: Yes, I agree. Fall and Spring are wonderful times of the year in Ontario. I think that when it is very warm is the nicest time to ride the Maid of the Mist though. You timed that just right. Thank you for your visit.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @agoofyidea: I was thrilled. Thank you for your comments.

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      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Oh wow, Laraine! Niagara Falls is awesome to visit ... especially thinking about that Marilyn Monroe movie, you know? I don't remember how old I was, but I have some memories of driving into Canada and walking around the older homes.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      We went about six years ago during the hottest August ever. The mist was definitely a pleasure. I'd love to go back again but in the fall or spring.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      I loved riding on the Maid of the Mist. It is a unique way to see the falls. Great lens. Thanks for the memories.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Davidfstillwagon: It IS an experience young and old can enjoy. Thank you for your visit here.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @NAnand: It was fun wasn't it!!!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: I do hope that you will have a chance to stop off at Niagara Falls some day. You will not be sorry.

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      NAnand 6 years ago

      Remember my time on the Maid of the Mist. Quite an experience!! lol...thank you for bringing back memories. :o)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SandyPeaks: Why, Hello, SandyPeaks. I haven't met you yet. Thank you for coming to visit and leaving a comment. I appreciate it and come to see you soon.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      been to canada 3x but never had a chance to stop by at niagara falls. always been to alberta, to my family (they are naturalized canadians and some are natural-born)

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      Watched those who went come back dripping wet - got quite wet enough standing nearby, thanks!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Too bad. I encourage you to go with someone and enjoy the ride. It is a bit scarey but not too bad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I live quite close to the Falls but have never done Maid of the Mist. I have taken friends and they have gone on the boat but I am too chicken. Great lens :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @TeacherSerenia: I hope that you can get to Niagara Falls soon ... and be sure to take your family. There is something there for everyone. Thank you for blessing this lens!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful Lens. I live in Toronto and have never been to Niagara Falls.

      But it's on my bucket list!!! Blessed for Labour day.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Johanna Eisler: Too bad you haven't been able to get back. It really is a worthwhile trip. One of Canada's seven wonders. Thank you for visiting me and leaving your comment.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @kimbesa2: I'd really like to see it in the wintertime. It must be beautiful.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

      I would love to see this.

      The only time my family visited Niagara Falls, I was six years old. I don't even remember the water. I remember sitting at a nearby outdoor restaurant listening with fascination to the radio playing "One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater." (Isn't that what would interest YOU when you were six years old?)

      If I ever get to go again, I promise I will look at the falls.

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      Niagara Falls is great! Haven't been in years, but remember it well. So powerful...and to think that a substantial % of the water is diverted. It would be even more thunderous and awesome...thanks for this lens!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Sylvestermouse: I've never been white water rafting .. I've been river and tubing many times. I wanted to go when we were in the Grand Canyon but had a choice between that and hiking. Hiking won out this time. Next time we will go white water rafting. It looks pretty exciting and fun.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Fabulous! I would love to do this in real life. I did go white water rafting in Colorado, but there were no falls. This has to be gloriously wonderful! Now, I want to go!!!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wonderful lens on your experience on the Maid of the Mist. I've been to Niagara Falls many times in the past decade and it's amazing to see it in different seasons. I'm still amazed by the site every time I visit. But I've never been on the boat excursion, though I'm sure I will someday...just like you! :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Amen!

    • Davidfstillwagon profile image

      Davidfstillwagon 6 years ago

      I rode the maid of the mist when I was young and then 30 years later I rode on it again, what a memorable experience.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank your for viewing this lens, for commenting and taking the polls. I hope that some day you will be able to ride in the Maid of the Mist.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You had me holding my breath, wonderfully told and beautifully done from start to finish, what a delight! I'd love to go to Niagara Falls and would have to get on that boat for sure. At least I can live the experience vicariously through you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @turtleface: I'm happy that I went and lived to tell the tale. Thank you for visiting. I'm off now to see what you're up to.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Yes, it is a wonderful place for a family vacation. When this account took place, I don't believe there was a casino there. On a more recent visit we did walk through the casino but didn't gamble. I was intrigued by the moving vistas on a screen on the ceiling by the escalator. (Various landscapes changed slowly from a starry night to dawn, from dawn slowly throughout the day into evening and then back again to dawn. The clouds moved too.) I was impressed with that innovative attraction and watched it for a long time. The scenes never seem to be the same. How I do go on! Thank you for your visit .. I'll be by to see what you have written .. soon.

    • turtleface profile image

      turtleface 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading the emotional roller coaster that you were going through to get on and take the ride... and then the reward at the end. Thank you for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I sure do have found memories of visiting Niagara Falls, really enjoyed myself especially since I avoid the "C asino", I saved money!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @ellagis: Thank you for the visit. I hope that you realize you dreams.

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      When I visited Niagara Falls, ages ago, I didn´t take a boat ride, even if I wanted to... and now I dream about it!!! Sooner or later I´ll do it!!!! :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @OhMe: Thanks for your visit. You won't regret it if you ever have a chance to go to Niagara Falls. The boat ride was a lot of fun .. I hope that you'll get a chance to try it some day.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @WillBorden: Thanks, Will. I'm not a photographer, like you, but I had a little old camera with me and it worked well enough for this trip.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Oh me, I have never been to Niagara Falls but would love to see it one day and I would love to take the Boat Ride. How exciting. I sure enjoyed reading about your Family Vacation. Thank you.

    • profile image

      WillBorden 6 years ago

      Hi Laraine,

      Nicely documented and always a fun place to visit, even if one has been there before. Love your picture of the "Maid Of The Mist"- the scene looks so foreboding!!

      Keep up the interesting and informative work, Laraine.

      Will